Microsoft has dished out an ad mocking Google’s Gmail service at the Microsoft Global Exchange sales conference, highlighting Google’s practice of scanning emails for keyword based advertising.
The video was apparently leaked online by one of the attendees. The ad created by the Microsoft Office 365 team, features the ‘Gmail Man’ a mailman who is seen going through everyone’s emails, looking for keywords in order to place relevant advertisements.
A woman in the ad asks the Gmail Man ‘Have you been reading my mail?’ when he starts offering her an ad for an ointment based on words in an email she sent like “burning" and "itching."
The Gmail Man claims that he was ‘just skimming’ for ‘certain keywords’. Microsoft’s point is that Google scans users’ emails for keywords and places advertisements in their inbox on the basis of that.
The search engine giant recently launched a Gmail campaign in which it asks users to encourage their friends into signing up for Gmail and move from outdated email systems.
Google was obviously pointing towards Microsoft’s Hotmail email service. Google reported that 100,000 email interventions were send by users in the first 24 hours of launching the campaign.